Men and Gods
The image of man in all its muscular virility has amazed and inspired throughout the ages. In mythic proportions a man at his peak, was often depicted by the Romans and Greeks as the very gods that swayed control over our destinies and tempted our fates. It's no wonder that in art - especially photography - the male physique still resonates full of power, emotion and longing.
Photographer David Vance does more than modernize the image of man as deity in his photo essay "Men and Gods," he realizes how potent and vital, and especially romantically man is created in the image of God. In the book's forward, Vance perfectly illustrates through his words how musculature served man and helped him to survive. Man's body would evolve to represent his strength on the sporting field, some becoming the envy of the gods.
The artist leaves that interpretation up to you while evoking in his beautifully crafted male nude photo images strength, power and some even gracefulness in their vulnerability. Choosing warm lighting and glowing highlights, the smooth, thick physiques jump off the page against textured backgrounds that never distract from the model on display. Vance treats some of his pictures subtly in some cases, never to an extreme and to great effect.
On others the photographer recreates renaissance frescos and religious imagery reveling in mythologies, angels on earth, and powerful Spartans raging into battle. Other photographers are rooted deeply in reality, the beauty of the male subject, his body, face and eyes lustfully pulling the viewer in, while still more erotically bring to life every wet dream, locker room fantasy in the catalog. The most attractive aspect of this photo gallery is its ability to tastefully present the man as God, as superhero, as fantasy and especially the attainable.
"Men and Gods" is a wonderfully modern look at today's fixation with the physique. Man is created in God's image, and God is good.
"Men and Gods" by David Vance
available from Bruno Gmunder Verlag publishing
112 page hardcover for $62.28